Ban on CBD makes sense

As of Jan. 1, Oregon brewers will be banned from using CBD in their products. It appears the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which oversees alcohol production and sales in the state, doesn’t have much choice in the matter.

CBD, cannabidiol, is a product derived from both marijuana and hemp. It lacks the psychoactive chemicals that people associate with marijuana, and it’s gaining considerable popularity as a remedy for muscle aches, cognition, anxiety and a host of other problems.

Unfortunately, there hasn’t been much research on CBD, and as a result, the federal Food and Drug Administration bars its use in food. Too, it’s illegal to market CBD as a dietary supplement.

Meanwhile, brewers must have their formulas — recipes — for their products approved by the federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau before they can brew and sell their wares, and the TTB will not approve formulas that contain CBD.

That rule is unlikely to change unless there’s enough research to persuade the FDA that CBD is safe. So far, according to the FDA website, what research there’s been indicates CBD can cause liver damage, and that it can cause your body to metabolize medications you take in different ways. Too, combined with beer, it can make you sleepier than you otherwise might be.

While the change may make some beer producers, sellers and drinkers unhappy, it’s hard to imagine either the TTB or the OLCC from doing anything but what they’ve done.

The Food and Drug Administration’s mission statement, after all, says the agency is charged with “protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, (and) our nation’s food supply ….” It’s hard to imagine another government agency would willingly allow use of something the FDA has not said is safe.

That rule is unlikely to change unless there’s enough research to persuade the FDA that CBD is safe. So far, according to the FDA website, what research there’s been indicates CBD can cause liver damage, and that it can cause your body to metabolize medications you take in different ways. Too, combined with beer, it can make you sleepier than you otherwise might be.

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